Our Mission

Our Mission

 

To transform lives through ecumenism, capacity building, advocacy and service delivery.

 

Our Vision2

Our Vision

One Church; United in Faith and Mission Witnessing to Jesus Christ and Transforming Lives.

Our Values2

Our Values

In pursuing its Christian calling, the Council shall uphold:

  • Integrity through accountability and transparency;
  • Stewardship through sound resource management;
  • Professionalism through competence and efficiency;
  • Partnership by collaborating with others;
  • Servant-hood through fair and humble service.
Mission & Vision

SHOW YOURSELF A MAN: LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM TIMOTHY

FAREWELL ADDRESS BY

REVEREND CANON PETER KARANJA

12TH GENERAL SECRETARY

(2007 – 2019)

DURING THE

INDUCTION SERVICE OF

REVEREND CHRIS KINYANJUI KAMAU

13TH GENERAL SECRETARY

ON

23RD SEPTEMBER 2019

AT

JUMUIA CONFERENCE AND COUNTRY HOME, LIMURU


A. PREABLE

Archbishop Timothy Ndambuki, Chairperson of the Council, officers of the Council, members of the Executive Committee, members of staff, invited guests, and members of the media,

It is with great honour and humility, yet with a sense of pride, that I share this farewell message with the family of the National Council of Churches of Kenya, and a word of welcome to the incoming General Secretary, Rev Chris Kinyanjui. You have indeed been more than a family over the last twelve years, and without doubt I have spent every waking moment thinking about and praying for the Council.

I take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to God for granting me the opportunity and ability to serve this great organization over the last 12 years. The NCCK belongs to God, and it is blessed with His presence and blessings

Dear Archbishop, Brothers and Sisters

I have come to the end of my term of service as the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Kenya. Over the last 12 years, I have presented to this Executive Committee numerous reports that have marked the milestones on our journey. For this reason, today I will follow the tradition of our elders Jacob, David, Elijah, Elisha and even our Lord Jesus Christ, who, when they knew their time was ending, shared words of insight and priority with their compatriots.

Reverend Chris, in the time I have served as the General Secretary, I have gone through the wide spectrum of leadership experiences. In the process, I have gained some leadership insights that I would like to share with you and this congregation. Allow me to share 8 leadership lessons I have learnt from the first and second letters of Paul to Timothy.

B. LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM 1ST AND 2ND TIMOTHY

 

1. Know why you hold that position

Archbishop Chairman, Brothers and Sisters

The opening phrase in both 1st and 2nd Timothy is “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command / will of God”. Paul knew who he was, just like each of us knows the positions we hold in our churches or places of work. But Paul goes beyond that and explains why he became an apostle to begin with, as we find in various verses including:

  1. To display the grace of God (1 Timothy 1: 16)
  2. To preach the gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 1: 11)
  3. To be an example (2 Timothy 4: 8)

Brothers and Sisters, always remember that the greatest leadership disasters on earth are caused by men and women who forget the vision they had when they assumed the leadership position. Even where one does not apply for a position, you are informed the vision you need to work towards once you get the position. Reverend Chris, I expect that today you will inform us your vision and aspiration as you assume the office of General Secretary. May I recommend that you print it out and put one copy in the office and the other at home, so that in the midst of heavy activity and storms that will come, you will not forget why you asked for this position.

 

2. Know purpose of the institution you are leading

The second tragedy that afflicts Kenya and many countries in the world is leaders who forget or ignore the purpose for which the institutions they lead were established. Paul was very clear in his head that the purpose of the church is to facilitate people to believe in God, get saved, live holy lives, and go to heaven.

Reverend Chris, as you take over the leadership of the Council, I would encourage you to constantly remind yourself, the staff and the governance organs the vision, mission and objectives of the Council. This is your best safeguard against being diverted and veering off on tangents.

 

3. Know and care for the people you are working with

Archbishop Chairman, Brothers and Sisters, Paul shows that he knew those he worked with individually. In the two letters, he speaks to Timothy about different individuals, and what they did or didn’t do. What stands out most is that Paul knew Timothy very well. He knew Timothy’s background (2 Timothy 1: 5 – referring to his mother and grandmother), gift (2 Timothy 1: 6), and ordination (1 Timothy 4: 14). He was therefore able to empathize with Timothy due to his physical condition (1 Timothy 5: 23 – Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses).

Reverend Chris, it will be upon you to know the members of the governance organs as well as the staff of the Council, and to empathize with them. Know how to help them manage their weaknesses while boosting their strengths. Most importantly, learn to build a relationship of trust between yourself and those you work with. Leadership positions can leave you lonely, but don’t make it worse by alienating yourself from those around you.

 

4. Assign Tasks to the Qualified, and Qualify the Assignees

Archbishop Chairman, Brothers and Sisters, the surest pathway to failure is having the wrong person trying to do the right thing. This is the message we get from King Solomon when he warns in Proverbs 10: 26 (As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is a sluggard to those who send him).

On his part, Paul tasks Timothy, as the leader of the church at Ephesus, to take responsibility for allocating tasks and duties to other people. We find this in 1 Timothy 1: 3 (As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer).

Reverend Chris, the secret to being a successful General Secretary does not lie in the amount of work you can personally do, for you cannot do everything, but in positioning the right persons to do the right tasks. God has gifted people differently, so make it a habit to continually pray for God’s guidance when positioning staff and consultants and leaders. Always remember the caution of Ecclesiastes 10: 10 – If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success. It is important to find the qualified and give them tasks, and is even more important to facilitate those you have to continually sharpen their skills through training and capacity building.

 

5. Keep the people busy

Archbishop Chairman, Brothers and Sisters, the principal advice Paul gives Timothy on effective leadership is: Keep people busy doing the right thing, and cut down on talking. This comes across when he writes in 1 Timothy 1: 3 – 4 “… command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies…”; and also in 1 Timothy 5: 13 – 14 “…. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to. So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander”

 

6. Promote prayer and godliness

Archbishop Chairman, Brothers and Sisters. The primary task of a leader, whether in the church or in the community, is to facilitate people to life peaceful, productive and sustainable lives. The key to this is found in the advice Paul gives in 1 Timothy 2: 1 – “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness”.

Reverend Chris, many leaders in our nation, and even in the church, have failed because of failing to observe this simple principle. They allow individuals with evil characters to hang around them, which leads to colossal failure on part of the leader. In your term in office, I recommend that you promote prayer and godliness among all you work with.

 

7. Have mercy and gentleness

Archbishop Chairman, Brothers and Sisters, Jesus informed His disciples that leaders who lord it over their followers are “leaders of this world”, which is a condemnation since “this world” in Jesus conversations always refers to things controlled by Satan.

Paul carries this forward by encouraging Timothy, and the leaders he was bringing up, to be merciful and considerate, and to handle others with gentleness, as we find in 1 Timothy 3: 3 “not given to drunkenness, nor violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money”; and in 2 Timothy 2: 24 – 25 “And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth”

Brothers and sisters, my inspiration to the entire family of the Council is that we always embrace and take to heart the message of John 13: 35 – “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”.

Reverend Chris, challenge yourself to exercise and manifest mercy and gentleness, and so show yourself to be one who loves God’s people.

 

8. Beware the Love of Money

Archbishop Chairman, Brothers and Sisters, the last lesson I would like to share is that a wise leader draws the line between prudence and pursuit of profit, and love of money. Love of money is when a person devotes their full attention and energy on money. Indeed money is the only object that Jesus says can compete with God, warning us that money is extremely powerful (Matthew 6: 24 – No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money). This warning by Jesus is expounded on by Paul as he states that “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction” 1 Timothy 6: 9.

It is indeed true that the problems that our country is going through, and has gone through in the past, and will go through in the future, emanate from having leaders who are controlled by their love of money. This has driven corruption to astronomical levels, causing the culture of love of money to permeate even the family circle. It is for this reason that many times the NCCK has said that to rid Kenya of corruption, there must be change of mindset and culture, which we can only do by transforming our education so that it is value based.

Regrettably, the same trait has found its way into churches and other religious bodies. Crisis after crisis have been witnessed because of leaders who are controlled by the love of money.

Reverend Chris, do not allow money to be the primary focus of your life and your leadership at the Council. It is true that money is important for you to achieve the vision God has given you and this Council, but your focus should be on God and the vision, not on money.

 

C.     PERSONAL LIFE OF A LEADER

Archbishop Chairman, it would not be fair for me to conclude without warning Reverend Chris to be prepared for loneliness. A leader is very rarely lonesome, for there are always people around you; but the top leader of any institution is often lonely. Building true friendship and companionship is an uphill task for a leader, since you have to sieve between joyriders, bootlickers, and those out to use your position for personal benefit. Do not be shocked when you feel abandoned even by those you placed your full trust in, and do not resent them.

I encourage you to read, in one seating, 1st and 2nd Timothy, and try to understand the mindset of Paul in the two books. One of the things you will realize is that whereas in 1st Timothy Paul writes as a leader speaking to a junior, in 2nd Timothy he speaks as a man who is pleading for friendship, hoping that Timothy has not abandoned him the way everyone else did. This is the reason there is not many doctrinal statements in 2nd Timothy.

I encourage you, Reverend Chris, and all the other leaders, to have time to build friendships that are personal, not just professional. Paul took time to build the friendship with Timothy, and was involved in Timothy’s personal life from childhood. As a leader, especially when your term is timebound, you will not have a lifetime to build such a friendship, but you still need to find individuals who have a connection with your heart, not with your position or your influence or position, but with your heart. Can you find a person to whom your power means nothing?

It is of absolute importance that you do not neglect your family, for they will remain part of you forever. Nurture their friendship, for your wife and children are all you will have when a time comes for you to give a farewell speech during the induction of your successor.

D.        CONCLUSION

And with that, Archbishop Chairman, I conclude my last address to the Executive Committee as the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Kenya. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have become part of the NCCK family, and thank God for what we have achieved together. I am especially thankful to my wife, Reverend Jane, and our children, Njeri, Muthoni and Mwangi, who have unreservedly supported me all this time. You give me confidence that I am loved by those who love me for who I am.

May God richly bless all of you, and may He grant you favour in all that you do.

Thank you.

 

Rev Canon Peter Karanja

General Secretary

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